Writing Books/Book length


Hi Susan,

Been writing a fiction book for what seems like ages, and the story line seems to be coming to an end at around 72000 words, do you think this is average, or do I need to try and stretch it out a bit more?
May have more questions, hope this is ok.


Hello Colin:

Of course it's ok if you come back with more questions - that's what we're here for!

As to length: only your publisher can say if you have enough words. Much depends on what words they are! If you will visit your library and wander among the shelves you will notice that some books are long and some are short. Bridges of Madison County is a small book, as is Animal Farm. Publishers may prefer books of 100,000 words or more, because they can charge more for them, but if the words are not the right words, they won't sell.

In other words, length is not so important as the impact of the words you have used.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 700 questions.

And good luck with your writing!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at http://pygmypress.com, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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